Review: The Magus – Βυσσοδομώντας (Vissodomontas)

The cover art of The Magus - Vissodomontas

Introduction

Origin: Athens, Greece
Formed in: 2022
Genre: Black Metal/Heavy Metal
Label: The Circle Music

The year is 1989 and one of the most influential bands in the Greek Black Metal scene was born. It’s name? Necromantia. It was formed by Baron Blood and The Magus. They released some of my favorite albums during my teenage years, for example their debut album “Crossing the Fiery Path” and the outstanding split with Varathron “The Black Arts / The Everlasting Sins”. I lost track of the band during the 2000’s, but to my surprise they released a great album in 2021, which turned out to be their swansong. After that albums release, Necromantia disbanded and The Magus formed a new band in 2022 which fittingly bares the name of the man himself.

As I have always been fond of Necromantia it made me a tad sad when the news hit that they had chosen to disband. But lo and behold, The Magus announced his new project’s first full album Vissodomontas (Greek: Βυσσοδομώντας) so my black cold heart almost started pumping again out of sheer excitement, and I was eager to listen to the new album. Thankfully, we received a promo and I have been deep diving into the dark matter of this album ever since to get a sense of what it’s all about.

Vissodomontas

When a long tenured musician within the scene comes forth with a new project, it’s always exciting. Join me in discovering and dissecting what this new project sounds like.

The album consists of 9 new tracks with a run time of almost 55 minutes, and the first track, “This is my Church” really sets a mood and great atmosphere and talks about Lucifer being the foundation for a church of its own.

It is I, LUCIFER, the Brightest of Angels,
The Greatest of Demons, the King of the World
who taught you the Truth.
It is I, LUCIFER who guided you through adulthood
It is I, who taught you sorcery and science
It is I WHO MADE YOU WHOLE!

Lyrics of The Magus, track 1; This is my Church.
The Magus - Band Members

The mood has been set, but what about the rest of the album? What can you expect when you listen to it for the first time? The entire album is well put together, and you can hear the craftsmanship that Magus, El (guitars) and Maelstrom (drums) possesses. There are also a bunch of guest artists who helped put together the album; King Dude, IDVex (1/2 SOUTHERN NORTH), Hel Pyre (W.E.B.), Iraklis Gialatzides (SWAN CHRISTY), Manos Six (Manos Six and the Muddy Devil) & Christos Antoniou (SEPTICFLESH) who did the arrangements for the live choir.

As you can see that’s quite the list of guest artists, but the question is does it show on the album itself, and for me, it does. Like I said, the album is well put together and coherent from start to finish. The album just oozes atmosphere, and the lyrics fit the music and makes it coherent overall. I am not into the whole Luciferian mindset, but that shouldn’t matter for the experience lyrics combined with the music bring the listener, and it doesn’t.

Track Highlights

Every album has a few tracks that just pop out and for me one of those tracks is the second, “The Fall of Man”. Right from the start, it is fast-paced with great riffs and the vocals of The Magus match it perfectly. In the mid-section of the track you hear a choir and that sounds great, and you can hear Christos hand in incorporating it.

The fifth track, “Idolatrous Discord” is another great one. It’s fast-paced with great riffs, great vocals. Furthermore, worth mentioning is the drumming, which is on point during the entire album. This track has just great arrangement overall as the choirs gives it that ominous sound which fits the entire theme of the song.

The Heads of the Hydra speak
when the moon is hidden
between the veils of the night
foul blood will flow

Lyrics track 5

“Ama Lilith”, the 6th track of the album, is the last high light for me. This song is another banger, but what really sets it apart is the mid-section with the chanting and the female vocals. The mix of those 2 creates a fantastic atmosphere. As a listener, you are transported to a different time and place while under its hypnotic spell. They did an impressive job with that.

Okay, special mention is needed for the album closer, “Give the Devil His Due: The Story”, as it starts off with a blues intro, I won’t spoil where it goes from there, please listen for yourself.

Conclusion

A new band for The Magus, and a new album. It makes me happy that the great man is back in this fashion (although he’s in other bands as well, of course), and doing what he does best. It’s not up there as a contender for album of the year, but that’s not necessary, not every album needs to be that. It’s a good album overall and I enjoyed listening to it.

I give this album a 7,5 out of 10

The album is out now, so if you want to check it out for yourself, you can do so on your favorite streaming platform, or order it in your preferred format. You can also listen to it via the video below.

YouTube player

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